Another Code: Recollection review – Memorable mysteries lovingly remade

Another Code: Recollection review – Memorable mysteries lovingly remade
Images via Nintendo

Written by 

Jack Roberts

Published 

25th Jan 2024 11:23

If there were two games that I thought would never see a port, let alone a remake, it was the Another Code (or Trace Memory) series that has been confined to the 'cult-classic' label. With its original studio, Cing, no longer around and the games seemingly locked into the controls and features of their respective consoles, it seemed like a fleeting fantasy that would never be realised. Oh, how wrong I was.

Another Code: Recollection not only brings these two games to the Nintendo Switch but has completely remade them from the ground up as one collection with enhanced visuals, updated controls and full voice acting that helps bring these characters to life like never before. Now, two incredibly underrated games have found their way to a new audience to receive the love and attention they deserve.

GGRecon Verdict

Another Code: Recollection is a lovingly crafted remake of two underrated gems that helped to demonstrate the innovations of their original platforms, and adapted them to the current generation.

Touching tales

D and Ashley meet for the first time in Another Code: Recollection
Click to enlarge

Another Code: Two Memories was originally released during the early days of the Nintendo DS alongside a slew of games that became the touch generation and aimed to utilise the innovative dual-screen format of the console. A few years later, Another Code: R – A Journey into Lost Memories was released on the Wii and made the most of the motion controls that were in vogue at the time.

Unlike most collections, you won’t be able to pick and choose which game you start with. Instead, you’ll be beginning, well, at the beginning, with the original Two Memories section. Once completed, you seamlessly transition into A Journey into Lost Memories, which picks up about two years after the first game's events.

Ashley Mizuki Robins, the girl at the heart of the mysteries remains an incredibly beguiling protagonist as she is forced to confront issues stemming from the murder of her mother and the disappearance of her father. While it could ultimately culminate in a happy-ever-after ending, Ashely’s journey is an incredibly complex slow-burner that doesn’t necessarily run smoothly. These mature themes, along with the measured pace may not be for everyone, but they are inherently worth sticking with to see the story out.

Tracing memories

Ashley examines graves in Another Code: Recollection
Click to enlarge

While branded as a collection, the two games are merged into one longer story which, given the short time you’ll spend in the mansion on Blood Edward Island, feels like a wise decision. The two games were originally quite different tonally, with Another Code: R opting for a more open space in stark contrast to the tight confines of the Edward Mansion.

In a change of pace from the top-down view of the Nintendo DS, Another Code: Recollection almost feels like a visual novel of sorts, with conversations that trigger dialogue options, mixed in with general exploration as you unravel the mysteries.

Alongside Ashley, the characters that previously never had a voice now have some wonderful performances, particularly from D, the friendly amnesiac ghost that guides you around Blood Edward Island, and Matthew Crusoe, whose life reflects that of Ashley’s.

Lost in translation

Ashley saying she is the unluckiest girl in the world in Another Code: Recollection
Click to enlarge

Despite my praise of these remakes, there are a few hiccups here and there that need to be addressed. When you first enter the game, I’d advise you to up the sensitivity on your camera controls before you do anything else so that it’s a little more manoeuvrable. The camera work in these games, particularly in Two Memories which is largely indoors, can be quite cumbersome, especially when you are exploring the space on the hunt for clues or extras that will help your investigation and expand the story.

Moreover, and perhaps this comes with the territory of transferring from one console to another, some of the puzzles don’t quite hit the same notes as in the originals. While they’re still fun at heart, and many are as perplexing as you would hope, it’s apparent they were made for a different set of consoles.

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The Verdict

Ashley and D solve a puzzle in Another Code: Recollection
Click to enlarge

Another Code: Recollection is a lovingly crafted remake of two underrated gems that helped to demonstrate the innovations of their original platforms, and adapted them to the current generation. While some charming elements of its puzzles have been somewhat lost in translation, its narrative and characters more than make up for it as you dive into their stories

Ashley in particular continues to be as complex as she ever was and seeing her grow and evolve between the two games in one coherent story makes for a beguiling experience that I’m so very glad I got to play through again, with the visuals and voice acting I has always hoped for. This collection has renewed my hopes that someday we may see some equally devoted remasters of Cing’s Hotel Dusk series.

4/5

Reviewed on Nintendo Switch. Code provided by the publisher.

Jack is a Guides Writer at GGRecon. With a BA (Hons) & MA in English and Creative Writing, he was also the Gaming Editor for The Indiependent. When not pondering which game has the best cup of coffee (and drinking far too much of it himself), he can often be found playing Dead by Daylight, Street Fighter or making yet another build in Bloodborne.